March 3, 2023 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Second Ministerial Conference on Labour, Employment and Labour Migration of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) concluded yesterday in Addis Ababa with the release of a Communiqué agreed upon unanimously.
The one-day ministerial level meeting was preceded by a three-day gathering during which Experts from the Ministries of Labour and Employment and officials from the Ministries Foreign Affairs of IGAD Member States reviewed the progress made since the signing of the Djibouti Declaration on Labour, Employment and Labour Migration in the IGAD Region in October 2021, and provided guidance on key priority areas of common concern on different pillars of the Declaration.
Representatives from social partner organisations such as the Horn of Africa Confederation of Trade Unions (HACTU), the Confederation of the IGAD Employers (CIE), delegates from the African Union, European Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Private Sector Forum, and the Southern Africa Coordinating Council attended
In her remarks at the opening of the ministerial meeting, the Minister of Labour and Skills of Ethiopia and Guest of Honour, Mrs Muferihat Kamil, stated: “The Social Dialogue pillar in the Djibouti Declaration is particularly more meaningful to me and my Ministry. We need dialogue in action in employment, fair recruitment, and social protection”.
IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, said his gratitude for the strong show of support by the Ministers of Labour and Employment to commit to the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration on Labour, Employment and Labour Migration. He added: “I am pleased to note that IGAD in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation has recorded significant progress in realizing the ideals enshrined in the 2021 Djibouti Declaration. So far, IGAD has developed the IGAD Regional Statistics Development Strategy to guide the collection, collation & analysis of regional labour market data. The other important aspect of the Djibouti Declaration is strengthening Social Protection for workers, including labour migrants and workers in the informal economy who are highly vulnerable to abuse. I would like to announce IGAD will be supporting Member States to fully participate in the preparations and events of the proposed African Union led dialogue with the Gulf Cooperation Council on labour migration in 2023”.
The Experts meeting provided guidance, advice and recommendations on the Programmefor Implementation of the Djibouti Declaration (PIDD), and a synopsis for the development of key regional policy instruments such as Regional Employment Policy Framework, Regional Social Protection Strategy as well as the roadmap towards the development of IGAD Regional Labour Market Information System (LMIS). In addition, the conference also deliberated on key strategies towards improved coordination and action on key labour migration challenges of the region including fair recruitment, bilateral labour agreements and building the capacities of Labour Attachés and embassies of IGAD Member States in key countries of destination.
Furthermore, the Horn of Africa Confederation of Trade Unions (HACTU) and Confederation of IGAD Employers (CIE) launched their respective five-year strategic plans.
The conference is organized by IGAD with the technical support of the ILO under the framework of the project on Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance in the IGAD region financed by the European Union and the Government of Switzerland.
The Ministers of Labour and Employment of IGAD Member States signed the Djibouti Declaration on Labour, Employment and Labour Migration during the first Ministerial Conference on the 21st October 2021 in Djibouti City, Republic of Djibouti. Through the declaration, the Ministers of Labour and Employment agreed to:
The Djibouti Declaration on Labour, Employment and Labour Migration is a key policy instrument to comprehensively address challenges of labour, employment, and labour migration in the Region and further overcome institutional gaps to improve coordination and action on labour, employment and labour migration. The Djibouti Declaration provides comprehensive policy guidance to IGAD secretariat, Member States, Social Partners, and other stakeholders on the following seven pillars:
The Declaration also plays pivotal role in addressing institutional gaps through the establishment of the IGAD Ministerial Committee on Labour, Employment and Labour Migration. The IGAD Ministerial Committee on Labour, Employment and Labour migration is a high-level political platform for regional policy dialogue, coordination, collaboration, and implementation and monitoring of policies and programs on matters of labour, employment, skills and labour migration in the IGAD region.
Download the Attached Communique below